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Mobile health clinics: Saving lives and money

Every $1 invested in mobile healthcare for the medically disenfranchised saves $36 in combined emergency department costs avoided and value of life years saved. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Medicine suggest that ‘health vans’ decrease both the incidence and economic burden of preventable diseases, for a net profit to the healthcare system.

Nancy Oriol, from Harvard Medical School, worked with a team of researchers to carry out an economic analysis of the return of investment a model mobile health clinic might provide. She said, “Mobile health clinics provide an alternative portal into the healthcare system for people who are underinsured, uninsured or who are otherwise outside of mainstream healthcare. They act as providers of last resort and are an essential component of the healthcare safety net”.

The researchers’ model showed that, by reducing the incidence of costly visits to the emergency department and providing early, preventive medicine, a health van can be highly cost-effective. According to Oriol, “The implications of this 36:1 return of investment should promote the effectiveness of the program model among healthcare policy-makers, who should support those healthcare practices that provide the greatest healthcare benefit for every healthcare dollar spent”.

Notes to Editors

1. Calculating the return on investment of mobile healthcare

Nancy E Oriol, Paul J Cote, Anthony P Vavasis, Jennifer Bennet, Darien DeLorenzo, Phillip Blanc and Isaac Kohane

BMC Medicine (in press)

During the embargo, article available here: http://www.biomedcentral.com/imedia/1345030682734682_article.pdf?random=488676

After the embargo, article available at journal website: http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcmed/

Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central’s open access policy.

2. BMC Medicine – the flagship medical journal of the BMC series – publishes original research articles, commentaries and reviews in all areas of medical science and clinical practice. To be appropriate for BMC Medicine, articles need to be of outstanding quality, broad interest and special importance. BMC Medicine (ISSN 1741-7015) is indexed/tracked/covered by PubMed, MEDLINE, BIOSIS, CAS, Scopus, EMBASE, Current Contents, Thomson Reuters (ISI) and Google Scholar.

3. BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com/) is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.




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